Why should you pray?

St. Teresa of Avila
St. Teresa of Avila. Photo Credit: Wikipedia.

“He who neglects mental prayer needs no devil to carry him to hell. He brings himself there with his own hands.”

-St. Teresa of Ávila (as paraphrased by St. Alphonsus Liguori)

And if that’s not enough for you(!), here are 7 more reasons Catholics should pray every day:

1. Jesus, Mary, and all the saints prayed. Jesus prays in at least fifteen passages in the Gospels. Luke 6:12 is typical: “Then He went out to the mountain to pray, spending the night in communion with God.”

Mary is a model of prayer. We are told she “treasured all these things and reflected on them in her heart” (Luke 2:19, etc.).

Pick up any saint’s biography and you read about a life steeped in prayer. No matter the culture, the state in life, or the age of the saint, they all communed with God daily.

2. Prayer gives us self-knowledge. Prayer enables us to see ourselves as we are, so we can work (with God’s grace) to change.

3. Prayer keeps us from sin. Not only are we more aware of our sins when we pray, prayer also gives us the grace to overcome present and future temptations. St. John Chrysostom wrote, “It is impossible, utterly impossible, for the man who prays eagerly and invokes God ceaselessly ever to sin” (De Anna 4, 5).

4. Relationships need communication. We have all experienced growing apart from a once-close friend by neglecting to call or visit. It is the same with our relationship with God. If we seldom talk (or listen) to Him, we will easily fall away.

5. God always listens. No matter how much other people may turn a deaf ear to our concerns, God always hears us.

6. Prayer disposes us to receive the sacraments. A person who prays is more likely to frequent the sacrament of Reconciliation and make a good confession. Prayer prepares us to more fully participate in the Mass and receive the Eucharist worthily.

7. Prayer leads to divine union. God desires all people to reach union with Him, being completely obedient to His will and loving Him with our whole heart, mind, soul, and strength (see Deuteronomy 6:5). We were created for this very purpose. This union is absolutely impossible without prayer.

Read more about prayer:

What is contemplation? Part I

What is contemplation? Part II

7 ways to make time for prayer

19 thoughts on “Why should you pray?”

  1. Pingback: YOU are your child’s model of prayer | Contemplative Homeschool

  2. Pingback: Seven ways to make time for prayer | Contemplative Homeschool

  3. I’m Jewish, but find this web page very inpsiring. I also like the picture of St. Theresa.

    In Rome in 2002, I had the good fortune to see one of the world’s greatest works of art pictured here: http://continuedon.wordpress.com/2010/11/06/the-ecstasy-of-st-teresa-of-avila/

    This web page includes a quote from her own description of an ecstasy, on which Bernini based this masterpiece. Some say it’s sublimated sexuality, but I think this totally misses the divine point (shall we call it TRUTH? : ) And isn’t God the ultimate souce of every good thing?

  4. Thanks for visiting and commenting, Bill. I have also seen Bernini’s sculpture. I volunteered to help pilgrims who came to Rome to celebrate the Jubilee in the year 2000. As I recall, my brother and I got thoroughly lost on the way to the Church that houses the sculpture, but it was worth it when we finally arrived.

    You’re right that God is the source of every good thing. Those who call authentic intimacy with God sublimated sexuality are seeing life backwards. Marital union is a dim reflection of the soul’s union with God, which is what we were all created for.

  5. Pingback: Watch and pray with Jesus–every day | Contemplative Homeschool

  6. Pingback: Falling asleep during prayer | Contemplative Homeschool

  7. Thank you for the reminder to pray more. I also love Saint Teresa of Avila a few months ago I read a bio about her which was very inspiring. I know that I need to pray more. I feel like I let my self down as well as those who I need to pray for when I don’t pray like I should. I love the rosary and need to do it often, I also love the Mass readings and office of readings which I see as a prayer just reading it I try to contemplate what I read. Love the blog!

    1. Moving from praying now and then to praying daily without fail was the first big conversion of my adult life. You have inspired me to write a post about this next time, to help those who may not have a steady prayer time yet. God bless!

    1. John. if you’d like I can send you a PDF I made for subscribers last Christmas, a compilation of many posts on prayer. Since you are a subscriber now, you’re welcome to have a copy. And that goes for any other subscriber who reads this. Mabe I should offer this again in my next post to anyone who hasn’t gotten it yet.

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  9. Pingback: Prayer in the second mansions

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